Students applying or interested in the Dental Hygiene Program are encouraged to contact the Dental Hygiene Academic Program Coordinator Sr., Madalyn Smolinski, with any questions.
GPA Requirements Accordion Closed
Science GPA: 2.5 Minimum
A Science GPA of 2.5 is the minimum required for application to the program; however, a 3.6 or higher is considered competitive.
Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Minimum
A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is the minimum required for application to the program: however, a 3.5 or higher is considered competitive.
The NAU Dental Hygiene program only accepts letter grades A, B & C for required prerequisites. Letter grades D & F for prerequisites are not accepted.
Program Prerequisites Accordion Closed
You must have completed, or be in the process of completing, the following prerequisites at the time of application. Any prerequisites not completed prior to applying must be completed by 05/31 of the year you apply for. Proof of enrollment and a passing grade of a C or better is required.
Required Science prerequisites must not be older than 5 years, all other required prerequisites must not be older than 10 years.
Please keep in mind that science prerequisites may not be older than 5 years, and all other prerequisites must not be older than 10 years.
There is no preference for applicants that take their prerequisites at NAU, all applicants are considered equally.
University Requirements Accordion Closed
To receive a bachelor’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.
- All of Northern Arizona University’s liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
- All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
- At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
- At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
- A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
In addition to University Requirements:
- At least 51 units of pre-professional requirements
- At least 72 units of major requirements
- Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements
- Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 123 units
Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.
|Minimum Units for Completion||123|
|Highest Mathematics Required||STA 270|
|Additional Admission Requirements||Required|
|Additional Fees/Program Fees||Required|
|University Honors College||Optional|
|Some online/blended coursework||Required|
|AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A||Recommended|
|Progression Plan Link||Not Available|
|Licensure||This program may lead to licensure.|
The Northern Arizona University Dental Hygiene Department offers the only Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene in the State of Arizona. With a national reputation for educating dental hygiene professionals since its inception in 1973, the program offers a high-quality education. Students complete two years of prerequisite didactic instruction in preparatory areas such as human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, human behavior and statistics and then apply to the program. Once students enter the program, a strong emphasis is placed on gaining extensive clinical experience. Regular clinic rotations require students to provide dental hygiene care at the NAU Dental Hygiene Clinic, the Hopi Health Care Facility, the Yavapai Apache Dental Clinic, Flagstaff Medical Center, and at North Country Healthcare. Faculty connect these field experiences to coursework, so students actively apply their knowledge of Oral Pathology, Oral Medicine, Pharmacology and Periodontics to their work with patients in the clinic. In addition to regular clinical rotations, students must complete a minimum two-week summer externship in a dental public health facility serving American Indian, military, or underserved populations throughout Arizona, in selected sites outside Arizona, or Internationally. Graduates are prepared to practice in diverse settings with special emphasis on rural communities and other underserved populations through a curriculum centered in public health. Their capstone project requires the origination of a public health project that requires exhaustive assessment and planning. Projects are then implemented and outcomes are evaluated in a final written report. This public health emphasis specifically prepares graduates to write grant proposals and serve in public health administrative roles. The future of dentistry is moving towards the development of a dental therapist; a new Masters prepared dental midlevel provider. Students graduating from NAU’s Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene are optimally poised to enter advanced dental therapy programs, work in independent practice, and/or work in affiliated practice.
Student Learning Outcomes
Outcomes align with Standards from the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation
- Patient Care: Provide oral health care and case management for diverse population
- Systematically collect and analyze data on general, oral and psychosocial health status of a variety of individuals including a comprehensive exam and interpretation of appropriate diagnostic information including radiographic, periodontal, and other data needed to assess the patient’s needs
- Use critical decision making based on assessment data to reach conclusions about oral health needs to determine the dental hygiene diagnosis and need for care coordination
- Collaborate with patient and other health professionals to formulate individualized comprehensive dental hygiene care plans
- Perform preventive and therapeutic dental hygiene interventions
- Determine the effectiveness of dental hygiene interventions and provide appropriate follow-up care and/or health maintenance
- Improving Health in Individuals and Communities
- Promote the values of oral and general health and wellness
- Respect the goals, values, beliefs and preferences of others
- Assess community oral health needs and resources
- Plan community-based oral health programs
- Implement community-based oral health programs
- Evaluate outcomes of health promotion and disease prevention activities
- Core Competencies:
- Demonstrate professional, ethical and legal behavior
- Use critical thinking and problem solving in the provision of evidence-based practice
- Provide dental hygiene care based on accepted scientific theories and the current standard of care that is humane, empathetic, and caring
- Perform self-assessment for life-long learning and professional growth
- Act as a change agent to improve community oral health and/or advance the profession through service activities and affiliations with professional organizations
- Communicate effectively with individuals and groups from diverse populations
The full policy can be viewed here.
Credit Equivalencies for Transfer Students Accordion Closed
Finger Print Clearance Card Accordion Closed
Dental Hygiene Applicants that are ACCEPTED into the program must apply for an AZ Fingerprint card. Instructions and information will be provided at pre-orientation. Please DO NOT apply for a fingerprint clearance card UNTIL you have been accepted to the program.
Arizona Revised Statutes require many professions to have an active fingerprint clearance card prior to or as a condition of licensure, certification, or employment. The Applicant Clearance Card Team (ACCT) at the Arizona Department of Public Safety, receives applications and reviews criminal history records of applicants to determine their suitability to receive a fingerprint clearance card, and periodically updates the status of current fingerprint clearance cards.
Your fingerprints will be used to check the criminal history records of the state of Arizona and of the FBI. DPS and the FBI may retain your fingerprints and associated information after the completion of this application and, while retained, your fingerprints may continue to be compared against other fingerprints, including latent fingerprints submitted to or retained by DPS and the FBI.
If you have a criminal history record, the officials making the determination of your suitability for the job, license, or other benefit must provide you the opportunity to complete or challenge the accuracy of the information in the record. You should be afforded a reasonable amount of time to correct or complete the record (or decline to do so) before officials deny you the job, license, or other benefit based on information in the criminal history record.
The procedures for obtaining a change, correction, or updating of your FBI criminal history record are set forth in Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Sections 16.30 through 16.34. Information on how to review and challenge your FBI criminal history record can be found at www.fbi.gov(link is external), under Criminal History Summary Checks(link is external), or by calling (304) 625-5590.
To obtain a copy of your Arizona criminal history record to review, update or correct, you can contact the Arizona Department of Public Safety Criminal History Records Unit at (602) 223-2222 or visit here to obtain a Review and/or Challenge packet.
Applicant Selection Critera Accordion Closed
- Science GPA & Cumulative GPA
- Written Essay Question Submission
- Quality of Application
Although portfolios, pictures, resumes, colored paper, and reference letters are often included in other applications, these items are not considered as part of our process. Please do not include them.
We do not consider previous job experience (i.e. Dental Assisting) or letters of recommendation when selecting applicants.
Notification & Acceptance Accordion Closed
Students will be notified of acceptance or regret to the program by phone call and email. Students
are typically notified by mid-March.
The student must also apply to Northern Arizona University declaring Dental Hygiene as their major. Please see
our academic advisor, Jill Cooney, for questions and guidance.
Program Acceptance Rate Accordion Closed
The NAU Dental Hygiene Program is a competitive program admitting approximately 32 students each year. Roughly 80-100 students apply, out of that, 50 applicants will be invited to complete the Essay Questionnaire portion.
What do I do if I’m Not Accepted? Accordion Closed
Since there are more applicants than available space, admission is competitive. Meeting the minimum criteria merely allows you to submit an application and is not a guarantee of acceptance into the dental hygiene program. Students who are not admitted must reapply each year. Alternate status does not guarantee a position in the next class to be admitted.
NAU’s Dental Hygiene Program does not have a waiting list. If you are not accepted into the program, you will need to reapply the next year.
Applicants that are not selected and are interested in re-applying are strongly encouraged to set up a meeting with the Academic Program Coordinator Sr., Madalyn Smolinski.